".....they will be shot at point blank range with a low velocity rifle."
After my piece about the gassing of Barcelona's pigeons and the resulting outrage from all around the world, I feel compelled to spread the word about another appalling cull that is happening right now, today, this time in Australia, a hotbed of bird culling in recent years.
The Corella, better known perhaps by the generic name Cockatoo, is an intelligent and characterful bird. The Corella family actually includes a number of closely related species, some of which have faced near extinction at the hands of humans during the early 20th century due to a mass killing spree of shooting and poisoning, perpetrated by people intolerant of the birds whose territory they had invaded. Populations of this resilient and rescourceful bird have since increased. And once again their interaction with humans has caused conflict. The point to remember is that people are the reason this bird flourishes in urban areas. Where there are human populations there are Corellas. Much like the pigeon, Corellas have learnt to live alongside people and adapt to the conditions created by human settlements.
There is something remarkable about a species that can adapt to its environment in spite of human interference, in a world where so many other species succumb to the pollution and destruction that our society causes.
But this clever adaptation is also the Corella's downfall because, as we know, humankind is intolerant of any other species that shares its space. And so we see today the announcement that a mass cull of Corellas is being carried out in Australia where these remarkable birds are labelled as 'pests'.
The mayor of a city called Geraldton in Western Australia said (in a particularly distasteful and unenlightened statement): "We're going to kill a few of these pesky little birds, and hopefully that sends a clear message to them to rack off." He told ABC News that: "They will be netted after being lured to the ground using wheat or any other nice snacks that they might like to consume, at which point they'll be rounded up and taken to a place to be humanely gassed."
In another city, Bunbury, an environmental officer is quoted as saying that "...The hardest thing is when the birds start disrupting people's sleep."
If that's 'the hardest thing' then one has to ask whether the residents really have anything at all in their lives to worry about.
The same environmental officer described in an interview with ABC News just how their city intends to cull the birds, it's a slightly different, but no less horrific, method to that employed by Geraldton..."We attract birds to sites where we can establish a regular feeding pattern....Once we get enough birds in attendance, we use a net that goes over the top of them and they will be shot at point blank range with a low velocity rifle."
Callous and cold blooded.
This is the 21st century, supposedly an enlightened era for conservation and awareness of wildlife.
Despite some opposition to the culls (which have been taking place regularly for the past few years), there are many voices in support of the killing due to the damage the birds can do to human infrastructure.
But with one of the primary reasons given for supporting the cull being 'difficulty getting to sleep because of the birds' then it seems that bird song is enough reason these days to shoot them.
Imagine if people felt the same way about the dawn chorus?
You know when people complain about the noise from birds then there is something very wrong with the state of the human race. We have already largely lost the ability to peacefully co-exist with any other form of life on this planet, now it seems we are so intolerant that we are exterminating other creatures simply because they are in our way or even just making a noise.
It's not a reason, it's just plain despicable.
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